Testimonials from past award recipients and leaders in the field
Shaw Industries Group
Receiving the Safe-In-Sound Award in 2011 has provided motivation for the team at Shaw Plant WM to seek out additional challenges. The journey to reduce noise levels continues. Plant WM’s noise abatement efforts have expanded to a second department, Neumag Extrusion. Using the “double enclosure” concept that was successful in Filteco extrusion, new enclosures are being installed in Neumag extrusion.
Plant WM’s success has carried over to other Shaw facilities. One example is the ear plug fit verification system implemented at Plant WM. Twenty-seven Shaw facilities now use fit verification as part of their hearing conservation program. Since the beginning of 2011 when we received the Award, more than 2000 Shaw associates have gone through fit verification. The use of fit verification gives us much greater confidence in our hearing protection effectiveness, and has added value to the organization by allowing a given site to “zero in” on the hearing protectors they need for their associates, rather than the old “shotgun” approach.
The award has been a springboard for noise abatement projects across Shaw. The added credibility provided by the Award has given other Shaw plants motivation, support from management, and budgets to introduce noise abatement projects. One example is Shaw’s yarn twisting process, where a project is on-going to design noise treatment for the machine, and reduce noise exposures for hundreds of Associates.
Since the Safe-In-Sound Award, we have leveraged the momentum to continue increasing awareness within our company around hearing conservation. As an example, a new page on the Shaw intranet site dedicated to hearing conservation was launched in October, 2011. It has FAQ’s for Associates, Safety /Training Managers, as well as Occupational Health Nurses.
Shaw’s Hearing Conservation Program is as strong as ever, with a big boost from the Safe-In-Sound Award.
Manager – Industrial Hygiene
Montgomery County (Ohio) Water Services
In 2009, I had the privilege of leading Montgomery County (Ohio) Water Services in the creation of a hearing loss prevention program that received the Safe-in-Sound Excellence in Hearing Loss Prevention Award™ in the Service Sector. That wonderful journey was an extraordinary personal growth experience; also the experience lead to a very positive, sustained safety culture for Water Services which helped protect not only those employees but also benefitted the customers of Water Services (fewer injuries results in lower costs for services).
The results were so very positive that following the receipt of the award I was charged with the establishment and management of a safety program including a hearing loss prevention program for Montgomery County Solid Waste Services. Anyone who has managed safety for such an operation knows what a unique challenge that can pose. That endeavor was both wonderfully challenging and rewarding for all involved. I was able to leverage the success gained in the Water Services endeavor to have the latitude and resources to implement some very creative ideas in creating the Solid Waste Services program with the help of the fantastic employees and management at that organization, too. In the end, all the hard work paid off and a positive hearing loss prevention program featuring some very interesting engineering, administrative and personal protective equipment controls was successfully implemented for that organization. So interesting was the story of that journey that I felt compelled to share it at the 2012 National Hearing Conservation Association Annual Conference. The wonderful feedback received from that experience further inspires me to strive for excellence as well as to help others understand the importance of hearing loss prevention.
The awards facilitate the sharing of leading edge best practices to improve the workplace. Safe-in-Sound Award™ winners are recognized not only for their documented results but also for their leadership. Safety and Health professionals worldwide use the published success stories as real-life, high profile examples. I highly recommend that any organization apply for the Safe in Sound Award; the process itself is its own reward; there are no winners and losers in this process, only winners! I also can't speak highly enough of the annual NHCA Conferences. There organizations can make wonderful contacts, greatly expand their knowledge, glean creative and bold new ideas for their own hearing loss prevention programs, and learn about cutting edge research and technology that will help make a better sounding tomorrow for all of us. Kudos to NIOSH and NHCAs for all their efforts!
Letter to the Editor of Spectrum. McDaniel, M., NHCA Spectrum, 2009, vol. 26 (1): 15.
ASSE member helps win first Safe-in-Sound Award. Industry Notes, American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) Professional Safety, 2009, July:14-15